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Medical Research on Hepatitis B and C

Medical Research on Hepatitis B and C


There are different ways that hepatitis B or C can be caught. They are spread by contact with infected blood or other body fluids of people who are infected with hepatitis B or C. Having sex with an infected person is an example of how you could be infected.

When people who use intravenous drugs share needles with someone who has the virus, they can get hepatitis B or C. Health care workers, like nurses, lab technicians and doctors, can get infected if accidentally stuck with a needle used on an infected patient.

Headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (skin turns yellow), weakness and fatigue are included symptoms of hepatitis B and C. Bowel movements may be gray in color and your urine may be dark and look like tea.

Though, hepatitis is a mild case sometimes. You may not even realize that you have it if you have a mild case. Symptoms are similar to stomach flu, but when it’s a mild case, there may not be any symptoms at all. Some people think they have the flu not knowing that they have hepatitis.

Hepatitis is in the acute stage when you are having symptoms. It can last from several weeks to several months. Hepatitis B or C can become an illness in some people, which lasts a long time. This is called chronic hepatitis. Other people recover from the infection and have no long-term problems.

Chronic hepatitis can set in when a person has recovered from acute hepatitis. When the liver is damaged by the acute illness and doesn’t recover chronic hepatitis occurs. Chronic hepatitis develops in 10% to 20% of people who have hepatitis B and in 30% to 50% of people who have hepatitis C.

People who have hepatitis B or C may not experience any symptoms at all. But chronic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver in some people. Cirrhosis occurs when the liver cells die and are replaced by scar tissue and fat. The liver stops working and can’t empty the body of wastes. People may not have symptoms when in the early stages of cirrhosis. When it gets worse, then symptoms start. Those symptoms could be weight loss, fatigue,...

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